We took some time out to get to know Raphaël Dapaah, the Managing Director of Dapaah Group Ltd.
Can you give a short description of your business?
We are a social enterprise on a mission to promote and empower Africa through trade, investment, tourism and positive PR. We transform the finest organic Africa cocoa beans into luxury handmade vegan chocolates in London, UK.
What motivated you to start this business?
After much research into why African countries were still relatively poor, despite their abundance of mineral wealth and natural resources. I learned that several African countries were exporters of raw materials; however the true value of their exports was to be found in finished products, which were typically made in Western countries.
I took Ghana as my case study, and decided to invest in their chief agricultural export, cacao, with the intention of transforming Africa’s finest organic cocoa beans into the finished product, chocolate.
What is the main thing that you want your clients to remember when they interact with your company?
I want my clients to remember that this is a quality African product first and foremost. From our branding, packaging, to our key ingredients and flavours. I want my clients to recognise the artistry, compelling narratives and excellence of Africa.
What is your proudest business moment to date?
My proudest business moment to date is sponsoring Ghana’s 60th independence black tie gala with our Dapaah Chocolates and receiving praise and compliments from our fellow countrymen and women for the excellence of our products.
What is the significance of your company to the black community?
I hope we serve as a source of inspiration to members of our community who have either never contemplated investing in Africa, or have considered it but are uncertain. We exist to serve and motivate our community to support each other, rely on themselves to build, excel and succeed. As a social enterprise, we aim to donate a percentage of our profits towards a start-up fund that will offer business grants and advice to budding entrepreneurs from the black community in order to foster a climate of economic prosperity and self-determination within black communities.
Why is it important for people to support black owned businesses?
In order to expect genuine social equality we must first become economically empowered and dependent on ourselves, thereby disrupting existing power structures, and dynamics. A community that fends for itself and relies on itself, cannot be at the mercy of others and thus can never be discriminated against or subject to inferiority complexes.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to setup a business in your field?
1. Do your research
2. Start small, but always think big.
3. Aim to disrupt the existing status quo by focusing on innovation, quality and integrity.
What does the next 6-12 months look like for your organisation?
We aim to officially launch our company in the next 6- 12 months, whilst we seek potential stockists of our chocolates.
Who is your black business inspiration, and why?
Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group epitomises the importance of generational wealth, legacy building and being a visionary. From trading commodities to becoming Africa’s industrial giant, Aliko Dangote for me demonstrates how starting small can lead to greater things.
The Dapaah Group was established in order to promote and empower Africa and the diaspora, this has lead to the creation of Dapaah Chocolates, an enterprise on a journey to hand-craft luxury vegan chocolates from the finest cocoa beans across Africa & the diaspora.
Connect and engage with the Dapaah Group via the links below;
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